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August 2, 2010 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Freezing Flats get Warmed for Winter


Cold, mouldy and mushroom-friendly student flats may be a thing of the past if a Green Party members’ bill promoting warm healthy homes gains footing.

Green Party housing spokesperson Gareth Hughes is touring universities this month to promote his My Warm Healthy Rental Bill.

The tour started in Auckland last week and will finish in Wellington on 20 August, with public meetings about the bill at both Victoria and Massey universities scheduled for that day.

The bill, which aims to help ensure everyone has a warm home, will be entered into the next members’ bill ballot.

“I will be touring around the country to see our coldest flats and homes to get a first-hand view of how people are living, and to talk about solutions for what is a big problem that affects a whole range of New Zealanders, especially the young and poor,” said Hughes.

He will also be talking to students about the substandard housing they often have to live in.

“Everybody deserves warm healthy homes; it’s only fair. My Warm Healthy Rental Bill will ensure that all New Zealand’s rental homes meet basic standards for warmth and insulation by 2018.”

The My Warm Healthy Rental Bill may sound familiar to Victoria University students, with the VUWSA Warm My Flat campaign gaining momentum this year.

VUWSA Environmental Officer Zachary Dorner says that as far as he was aware, Warm My Flat was unique to Victoria, although other universities had similar campaigns.

There had also been interest from Otago University Students’ Association in setting up their own version of the campaign.

Dorner believes the My Warm Healthy Rental Bill is an excellent idea.

“It’s crazy how we think it’s okay to freeze our asses off most of the year in this country. It’s not normal and something certainly needs to be done.”

As part of Warm My Flat, VUWSA is providing free flat warming consultations for cold, damp student flats where at least half the flatmates are at Victoria University. They also provide the tenants with advice on how to stay warm and tips on saving money.

More information can be found at the VUWSA website.


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